Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday reacted to the death of longtime conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, saying that he was “irreplaceable.” The decades-long staple of talk radio passed away at the age of 70 on Wednesday after a battle with lung cancer.
Hopping onto Fox News over the phone to offer some words, the former president opened by talking about the controversial move to give Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the 2020 State of the Union, which Trump said was “a great honor.”
“Half the room went crazy” Trump said about when he gave Limbaugh the medal “and the other half of the room, they knew he should get it.”
“But it was special and he was special,” he added.
Asked by Fox News host Bill Hemmer about when he last spoke to Limbaugh, the former commander-in-chief said “three or four days ago.”
“His fight [against cancer] was very, very courageous and he was very, very sick and—from diagnosis on—it was just something that was just not going to be beaten, but you wouldn’t know it,” Trump said.
“He is married to an incredible woman, Kathryn, who really—every time I spoke to him, he would tell me how great she was—she took such great care.”
“He was very brave,” Trump continued. “I mean, he in theory could’ve been gone four months ago. Really, he was fighting till the very end. He was a fighter, he was a great gentleman.”
Hemmer then asked how Trump viewed the way Limbaugh chose to “carry on” his messages and chose to agree or disagree with his policies as president.
Not directly answering the question, Trump referenced Fox News host Sean Hannity, who was on the program before he came on, saying that “Sean would say ‘There is nobody like Rush.'”
The former president also called the late radio host “irreplaceable” and “unique”.
Trump went on to talk about Limbaugh’s show and his hosting style.
“He had an audience that was massive,” Trump said. “And, you know, he could do something […] and he would get up in the show and would just talk—he wouldn’t take phone calls where, you know, people would call in every two minutes and that’s sort of easy to do—he would just talk, for two hours and three hours, just talk. And that’s not an easy thing to do.
“I once asked him and said ‘Do you study for the show?’ and he said ‘Actually, I study very hard,'” Trump continued, joking that the revelation “a little bit surprised me.”
“But he was a fantastic man, fantastic talent, and people—whether they loved him or not—they respected him, they really did,” he said at the closing of his segment.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”
Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.
Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.
At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.
“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”
“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”
This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”
During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.
“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”
“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”
Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.
Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.
“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”
Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.
“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”
He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.
Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”
“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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